How about an Office Starter Edition?

I previously wrote that Microsoft should offer up Windows Starter Edition as a free product.  Stephen Broadwell writes that he thinks Microsoft could morph Starter Edition into an Ad-supported version of Windows (towards the end of the post).  If this could lower the cost of computing so that more folks can realize the benefits, then this would be a good thing.
 
Microsoft could extend this even further.  In their press release today, Microsoft writes that they are going to start allowing OEM’s to install 60-day trials of Office on PCs, and then the OEM still gets to be part of the transaction if the user decides to purchase a full license.  They could extend the ad-supported model to include a free/ad-supported version of office as well: 2007 Office Starter Edition.  Then they can let the OEM’s get a cut of either the ad revenues, or the price the consumers pay to upgrade to a full version.
 
In the earlier referenced blog post, Stephen wrote:
“Imagine booting up Windows Starter Edition and seeing a list of 10 commercials.  You have to click on at least one to continue.  Every so often the system downloads an updated set of commercials from the Internet.” 
I’m not a big fan of the interruption ad model, and would rather see relevant contextual ads using up some screen real-estate.  Microsoft could even build a platform for displaying ads, and provide an API for application programmers to provide context, and then serve up ads from Adcenter (https://adcenter.msn.com/).  Adoption can be driven through revenue sharing.  Perhaps Microsoft could even share the revenue with the consumer if they are willing to provide a detailed profile to allow more directly targeted advertising.

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